11/16/12 12:09 AM | Kelli DeMario
The 2012 season is set to conclude as the Czech Republic hosts defending champion Spain in Prague this weekend. The tie will feature top 10 stalwarts David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych, both tapped to compete in critical singles rubbers on Friday.
Defending Davis Cup champion Spain leads the Czech Republic 4-2 in the series after completing a finals sweep in 2009.
Czech team captain Jaroslav Navratil has elected to contest the tie on an indoor hard court with world No. 6 Tomas Berdych and former world No. 8 Radek Stepanek leading the charge in singles competition. Rounding out the Czech squad are world No. 71 Lukas Rosol and world No. 189 Ivo Minar.
"So far, it’s the biggest moment of my career," Berdych confessed. "It is our goal to bring the trophy back (home) after so many years."
The host nation is through to the Davis Cup final following a 3-2 semifinal victory over Argentina. The Czech Republic looks to win its first title since 1980.
Spain is bidding for Davis Cup title number six this weekend. Team captain Alex Corretja's lineup features world No. 5 David Ferrer, world No. 11 Nicolas Almagro and ATP World Tour Finals doubles champions Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez.
"When I play (Stepanek), it's always a very close match," Ferrer commented. "I remember the final in 2009. It was an amazing match. This time, it's going to be a similar match on a different surface. But I have to play my best tennis to beat him."
Friday's action begins with veteran Stepanek facing Ferrer then concludes with Almagro taking the court against Berdych.
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